Milwaukee police dog helps officers process pain: 'Difficult time'

Some Milwaukee police officers describe one recent hire as the best decision the department has made in decades.

CRUSH, the department's facility service dog, has been instrumental to first responders.

"She’s innocent, and she’s friendly," said Benjamin Ade, MPD's Wellness Team coordinator.

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The 15-month-old golden retriever started at MPD in September. She's the department's first ever facility service dog. 

"We’re still In training," Ade said. "We sometimes will go out to scenes and just offer emotional support to officers."

MPD Officer Benjamin Ade and CRUSH

The golden retriever has a sense for emotional stress. Her name stands for "Canine Response Unconditionally Supporting Health."

Ade said CRUSH's start date couldn't have come at a better time. After Officer Peter Jerving died in the line of duty, CRUSH's duties were simple but powerful: help to heal.

"We worked a lot. Dealing with people’s emotions and my own emotions, too," said Ade.

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Ade was Jerving's first field training officer, and the two were friends. Thanks to CRUSH, he said he has been able to process that loss a little easier.

"It was a very difficult time for us, and she’s gotten a lot of people through it," Ade said.

CRUSH and Ade were at Police District 4, where Jerving worked, for 24 hours straight after he was killed. Ever since, officers who are struggling can specifically request a visit.

MPD Officer Benjamin Ade and CRUSH

The service dog might be spoiled with treats, but in reality, she's a hero to those sporting the badge – spoiling those officers with her love. 

Ade said he hopes to bring awareness about the success they've had with CRUSH, so that other first responders can benefit from a therapy dog like her.

CRUSH was donated by Partners with Paws Service Dog Corporation, a nonprofit dog-training organization.